Author(s): Teich ST
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Abstract Patient recall should be a tool to support prevention, allow early intervention, and ensure long-term dental health. Although the concept of patient-customized recall intervals has increased in popularity, recommendations vary significantly. Concepts of risk assessment-derived recalls are described in the literature separately for caries, periodontal disease, and edentulism, but no published guidelines exist for creating patient-centered recall systems that integrate all risks. Further, no recommendations exist regarding oral cancer risk assessment and recall intervals. The evidence shows that recall intervals of less than twelve months do not impact stage and tumor size at diagnosis although increasing this interval may significantly affect the outcome. The typical approach to recall scheduling is that the interval before the next oral health review should be chosen when no further treatment is indicated or on completion of a specific treatment journey. This article advocates a modified approach that supports individualized risk-based recall schedules not only after active therapy is completed but also during the course of treatment. The design of individualized recall schedules would address a patient's risk for caries and periodontal disease and the need to perform periodic oral cancer screenings. Evidence is also presented regarding the timing of recalls for edentulous patients. This article describes design principles for a Risk Assessment-Based Individualized Treatment (RABIT) system, presents an example of an electronic health record (EHR) recall module implemented at one dental school, and identifies barriers to implementation. As EHRs become more prevalent in dental practice, it is expected that the software industry and the profession will collaborate to include RABIT-like concepts in software management packages.
This article was published in J Dent Educ
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics